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New York Giants WR Victor Cruz Helps Bullied Gay Teen Overcome Locker-Room Fear: Video

January 9th, 2014 at 10:00 AM
By Dan Benton

New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz has never been shy about community outreach. He often spends much of his free time helping with charities, visiting children's hospitals and, when the country was gripped in sorrow following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December of 2012, Cruz was there to not only comfort the family of young Jack Pinto, but the entire town of Newton, CT.

Cruz is a man who loves people. All people. So when he learned about 19-year-old Joey Kemmerling, who was bullied relentlessly after coming out as gay in middle school, the Big Blue wide receiver was right there to help him overcome his fear of the locker-room — a place that was often the scene of torment for Joey.

"After I came out, the locker-room was the last place I wanted to be," Kemmerling said. "It was full of homophobia. … You could hear a pin drop every time I walked into that locker-room. I avoided that locker-room at all costs."

Drawing from his own personal experience of bullying and segregation, Cruz was able to relate to Joey in a way. And as the two shared their stories (seen in the above video), Cruz was clearly shaken by some of what Joey had to deal with.

Ultimately, like Cruz, Joey was able to overcome his torment and bullying. And not only did he overcome it, but he became stronger and more influential because of it.

Kemmerling would go on to launch a youth-led anti-bullying organization, which became active with the nonprofit GLSEN, where he speaks to students, educators and even members of the Government to help raise awareness for this sort of bullying, and also to help those endure as he's endured. And now, with the help of Cruz, he's been able to overcome his fear of the locker-room.

"I think as players, we want to be that voice to say that it's OK be gay and play football and basketball and baseball," Cruz says. "It's not ok to be bullied."

Kudos to both Cruz and Kemmerling for doing their part to make this world a better place.


Tags: Football, Jack Pinto, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Victor Cruz

One Response to “New York Giants WR Victor Cruz Helps Bullied Gay Teen Overcome Locker-Room Fear: Video”

  1.  rlhjr says:

    I like the human intrest too Dan thanks.


    I agree with one central theme. Both the Giants offensive and defensive players need to be excited by the prospect of making plays.
    They need to be excited by the opportunity of winning football games and having a good time doing it. That’s when you enjoy putting in the work required to execute properly and that leads to winning. Beyond the head coach, it the job of the coordinator to excite his players with his schemes.

    As much as we agonize about shotgun draws and bend and then break defense you must know that the players see the same $h!+. Taking the “company” line is expected. But football players on the whole are aggressive creatures.
    They like to deal out punishment, not absorbing it.

    Our offensive (not physical in the run game) and defensive (yield rather than attack) philosophies are non-descript. Bored players lead to mediocre seasons. Bored disinterested player are the result of having those traits imbedded in the schemes they are paid to execute.

    I am just cautioning that falling head over heels for a coach who coaches a superstar is like wanting to paint your car red so it can be like a Ferrari.
    You better start with the engine and suspension, not the paint.

    What makes Rodgers good is that he’s never gotten over sitting in the draft waiting room all those hours. The guy is driven and talented.
    That is not coachable.

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